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woman: one of the things i like best about flea markets is the element of surprise. you never know what you're gonna find. you never know what you got. it's a big treasure hunt. i do it all day long. i do it all the time. i've never done anything i liked as much as i like this. woman: well, it's outdoors. there's a lot of walking. we go to flea markets every day. you're socializing. they all have to be very good for you. rick sebak: people all over america have come to love flea markets -- usually outdoor gatherings, often on weekends, with vendors, shoppers, and all sorts of stuff for sale. i'll probably end up buying as much as i sell. just old stuff. everybody like old stuff. you can find something here you threw away 20 years ago if you look around a little bit. the ambience... people like me... people like you that come here to see us.
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a flea market is sort of an antidote to the malls. you never know what somebody's gonna look for. oh, honey, it's the bargains. there's always treasures, everywhere. you can work with us. kmart and the rest are not gonna do that. sebak: we're gonna check out a few markets around the country -- from seattle to fort lauderdale, from l.a. to d.c. even if you don't make a lot of money, you've met a lot of people. you meet a lot of really nice people... and some weird. man: flea like a show. you never know what you're gonna see. sebak: well, right now, you're gonna see "a flea market documentary." we're sorry if we didn't get to your favorite one, but there are just too many. they're everywhere. we just love a good flea market. [ laughs ] "a flea market documentary" was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you.
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sebak: okay, let's start in paris. open-air markets are an ancient tradition, but apparently paris had the first big market with used merchandise. the term "flea market" is a translation of the french marché aux puces -- "market with fleas" as" -- probably because some old things were full of bugs. most americans knew the term flea market by thes, but markets in the u.s. have really boomed since the late '60s. in 1997, sheila zubrod, a writer in new york city, put together a guidebook titled "flea." she's thought a lot about flea markets and what makes them work. zubrod: objects have emotional significance for us, and that's one of the things that i think that's fascinating about flea markets is you go and find what you respond to emotionally and you learn a lot about yourself. sebak: one market she knows well is the weekend one in manhattan along 6th avenue from about 24th to 26th streets. zubrod: i like to walk around. you're outside. it's sort of social. i run into people i know.
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it's a very friendly, welcoming environment. it's called the 26th street flea market. it works here because it's right in the center of manhattan. woman: it's really been the main flea market in the country for years and years, and now it is changing. there's so much building. i find it hard to believe that this parking lot will be here very long, but as long as it is, it will definitely be a destination. man: everybody likes something else, and new york city's international city. in the flea market, there is a lot of old stuff, and it's sold from all over the world. people come back and see if they really loved it. that's why people come back and buy it. zubrod: it's like you're taking a trip to about a hundred different countries, but all at once. you're taking a trip back through time. you're going back to the '20s. you're going back to the '60s. i feel good surrounded by old things. a lot of the stylists and designers buy from us, and they go out and mass-produce things, and you find them in the stores...eventually. but you find them here first.
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i'm not really looking for the bargain of the century, it's just some stuff is a lot nicer than the way it's made today -- the style. you can find the best stuff in vintage clothing right here on 26th street. it's really sort of the cutting edge. woman: there's vintage jewelry. there's glassware, silver. there's great furniture. there's vintage clothing. there's chandeliers. there's anything that you would want within the vintage/antique genre. sebak: and what do you sell here at the market? [ speaks chinese ] [ speaks chinese ] we sell antique and chinese stuff. anna feng and her mother yu have a wide range of asian items. th at is a basket for, like, when you want to go somewhere, you can buy it, and put it inside there. a long time ago, people don't have bags or anything. they use basket as a bag. anna has spent many weekends here in the market. feng: i love it very much. i really like chinese stuff,
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and i really love to tell people how old is it, because when i was young, i used to come here and look around it. there's a lot of people that just like to collect things. especially in new york. they like just filling up every last corner they have in their apartment. sebak: among the things eric schultz has brought to sell today is an old prosthetic leg. schultz: three people asked me about the leg. it's a hard seller, but it'll find the right home someday. zubrod: there's something about the juxtaposition of objects that would never be together. it's liberating to the mind. it lets you see things out of context for the first time. there's so many people that have been bitten by the collecting and buying bug, it's amazing. sebak: alan boss is the man who's been running the 26th street flea market since 1976. boss: what i've found over my many years here is that it's part of the cultural fabric of new york. it's a meeting place for traditional new yorkers. it's like they meet, they socialize, they do business, and they go on with their lives.
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zubrod: when you get something at a flea market, there's a story behind it. you look at it, you remember the weather that day, you remember the friends you were with. there's a story. sebak: most flea market stories happen on sundays, and if you're in seattle on a sunday, figure out how to get to the neighborhood of fremont. man: fremont's sort of like seattle's left bank. there's a spirit of fun and playfulness here that you don't find in a lot of other neighborhoods. woman: fremont was always sort of known for its relaxed, kind of almost hippie throwback kind of area, which i think was a good beginning for the market. sebak: the fremont sunday market really began in 1990, thanks to one industrious couple -- candace reiter and jon hegeman. hegeman: we lived in london for 10 years, and my bride was a market vendor in camden lock and portobello road and places like that. reiter: so we started the market here. i sold my work, and then i helped to run it,
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and now i'm on traffic. woman: it's a place where people can bee to be around many different people and feel at ease because it's very humbling to be out in a parking lot. man: even though the place looks very s, you'd be surprised by the number of people who come through here. some people call them tourists. they're from all over the world. you'd be surprised. hegeman: the flea market, actually, sort of established itself sometime after the farmers' market and the crafts market. it's now the tail that wags the dog. we have a lot steadier patronage here in the flea market than for anything else. sebak: that's probably because the vendors here have lots of cool junk, like this 20th-century stuff sold by frank olivo. olivo: i think my favorite thing here today is probably the eight-track player. i love eight-track players. sebak: there's virginia dundas, who sells vintage clothes, among other things... it is coat time of year. thanks. bye. ...boma cho from cameroon,
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who plays guitar while selling art and t-shirts, and evelyn dye-garcia, who's got a good mix of funky stuff. dye-garcia: i always bring something i call my "titillater" that everybody will look at. the leopard chair's my titillater today. i sold three of them last week, so i brought one more this week. olivo: my part of the business, anyway, is i pretty much sell recycled memories. dye-garcia: i used to have an antique shop, and my daughter worked in my shop, and so, she's down here doindoing what mama showed her how to do from an early age. say "hi," baby. [ laughing ] my favorite place to go with my dad was thmp. that was my favorite place as a little girl. i liked to go to the dump. so, i don't know. maybe -- i must have been doing this in a former life, too, because i was always interested. i had garage sales when i was in high school. olivo: when i was 16, i had a friend in high school who had a house full of stuff and a harley parked in his living room. and...he didn't have a job. he wasn't selling drugs.
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i asked him what he did to support himself, and he said, "well, if you want to know, be at my house at 6:00 saturday morning." so, i was at his house. we went to a flea market, and i got hooked. the flea market people are the most creative people i know. they're all people who are like me who understand. i get up at 4:30 in the morning and drive two hours to come here every week. cho: you think of the african village market, right? the people might look a bit different, but the context and the flavor's very much the same. a little later, i'll be going dond getting flowers. there's a man who makes crêpes -- fresh crêpes -- and they're wonderful. sebak: his name is andrew eigenrough. he and ruth bostwick make thin french pancakes -- and a good part of their living -- in this market. it's a real good deal. where else can you pay a rent of $15 or $30 a day? so... there's no comparison. olivo: it's entertaining.
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it's like a circus or a carnival... with junk. no rides. this guy looks like a ride over here. no, come check it out. please. that's what i'm here for. i'm making completely comfortable, washable, practical utilikilts. sebak: kilts -- pleated skirts for men. steven villegas is a young entrepreneur who started his utilikilts empire here. what size are you? villegas: i was so flattered the first day i came to the market. i sold one -- here! and ever since then, i've been coming back. i couldn't have done it without this place. back in '95, i invented -- invented -- i chopped up a pair of commando pants. this is the original one. if you've ever worn a kilt, the one thing you'll swear up and down about is the freedom, the breathability. basically, it's like wearing a belt. i've got contractors, truck drivers, people at microsoft, and the girls love them. women love utilikilts.
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they're just like, "oh, my god. that's a fantastic -- these are so sexy on guys." and that's great. i need them so bad. my clients swear up and down by these things. they're in love with them. hegeman: i think what makes this magic is the characters, the attitudes, and the stuff that they bring. you have people who have a lot more sense of theater and presence and so forth, and you get all kinds. sebak: a market's ability to attract all kinds is important. you want a good mix of people and merchandise, like in pasadena. every weekend, there's another flea market. the second weekend is the rose bowl. you can't miss it. woman: i know people from arizona, from indiana, kansas, that come to sell here. they bring their stuff from all over the country. there's a lot of wonderful things here. and there's also some junk. there's places to go for antiques, and then there's the antique swap meet at the rose bowl. sebak: it's at the rose bowl, but it's not inside the stadium.
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since 1968, r.g. canning attractions have organized and run this sale that goes on all around. tammy bailey is the event manager. she makes sure the 3,000 vendors get into the right places. our main entrance being here. this is around the perimeter of the bowl, and this is brand-new merchandise. this lot here is antiques. and then you go over a couple of bridges here, and here are more antiques. it's understood that this is the world's largest flea market. sebak: aw, several markets claim to be the biggest, but size isn't that important. what matters is the stuff that the vendors bring. how does anna holiday decide? holiday: you go out and you open your storage units up and you pick. "well, what do you think people are going to buy today?" and this they wouldn't see every day. this is an old maytag washer. one lady said this morning she wanted to buy it and put it in her backyard for flowers.
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i says, "no! it still works!" and for $150, it's yours. you get the serious collectors first thing in the morning, and then, later on, you get more people who are shopping or looking for a bargain or some kind of impulse purchase. then they want to take it home. sebak: dharam damama singh and his wife, dharam damama carr, specialize in art, and frequent flea markets on both coasts. carr: i think our booth sort of reflects, like, a happy mood. the objects are beautiful and you get enjoyment from that. actually, our main focus of buying stuff is things like that. sebak: some of these vendors are landmarks. man: this is our 30th year, right here, on this spot. sebak: jimmy dudley sells old furniture. dudley: we buy it, fix it, clean it up, restore it. i think this wardrobe is probably one of the nicest things. i have people come by that says, "oh, i bought that table from you, like, 30 years ago," and you try to say, "oh, yeah. okay. sure. i remember you."
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it's hard to remember people after 25 years, but at least they knew they got it from me, and they're still happy with it. sebak: some people are happy about the new furniture in this market, too, like the rustic chairs and swings made by hand from willow by santiago hernandez. it's easy to make it, but hard to find the wood. we cut it and we bend it when it's still green. we just let them dry right there. one chair takes about a day. we've got a lot of customers here. wonderful people. you been walking around here? there's something for everybody if you're a collector. this is a watercolor drawing of a clipper ship. i'm ever hopeful -- this one seems to be signed "marin." john marin is an important american artist. yeah, it's an antique one, and from over there -- it doesn't have to be too old over there because everything over there is older than it is here.
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this was for a decorative price, and if it turns out to be an early john marin, then i've had a very good day. our whole house is full of stuff. even my wedding ring i got here at the rose bowl swap meet from this guy who sells estate jewelry. i bought this for my wife -- it's the year of the pig. and then the year of the rat -- one of my children. well, my stepmom's a set decorator for shows, and so i usually come along with her and get stuff like beanie babies and -- just stuff. every single booth you look at has something different. this one may have hawaiian shirts, but this one will have a whole different crop of hawaiian shirts. man: it's hard to find them in a good size, because american guys are usually extra large, 2x. so that's why the new ones sell so well -ll -- the new reproductions. sebak: sean hammond sells primarily vintage shirts. it just seems like people just come to really look at the museum of americana of the 20th century. sebak: some markets are like open-air museums, and some vendors, like david hall,
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are like curators. these are glass insulators from the old telegraph and telephone era, and they used to hold the wire for the old telephone unit. that up there, that's what they used to look like, up on the arm. i have about 2,000 in my collection. i like getting people started, and that's the reason i bring them out here -- to let people know that there is a world of insulator collecting that exists. hammond: it's kind of like we're recycling things. but at the same time, we're trying to sell them, too. [ laughs ] so, in that case, it's not really a museum. it's a museum for sale -- where everything's for sale. we sell antique windup phonographs that were made from the late 1890s to the late 1920s. sebak: scott and denise corbett know all about these things that they've brought. i teach school, so i usually go into the whole history of the phonograph, whether they want to hear it or not. what's fun is that you're hearing it just the way the original owner heard it.
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at the time, there's no radio, no tno tv, so if you wanted to detain the kids for ae, you'd put on this dancing toy, and the kids would just watch it. old things have character and they have history. when you go to the mall, it's all the trendy, everybody has it, it's all the same -- boring. hammond: seeing the things that your dad had or you had when you were a kid -- you know, happy memories -- that's what the flea markets are about. sebak: well, in texas, the happy memories are big and old. most experts will tell you the oldest flea-market-type sale in america is in the small town of canton, texas, where don hackney is mayor. he's got a pilot's license so he can show you how huge their monthly sale has become. hackney: we have anywhere from 200,000 to 300,000 people that show up. it started in the 1850s, and the district court was held on the first monday of each month. the farmers came in to trade. sebak: well, the trading has become a tradition,
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and there's no property tax here because the town makes so much on what they now call first monday trade days. al campbell is manager of the event. campbell: it's the oldest. it's the largest. we draw vendors and shoppers from all over the united states and overseas. and it's fun to walk it. how many places can you spend the whole day? it don't cost you any money. sebak: but vendors like karen johnson bring all sorts of unusual things to try and get you to spend money, and there are no price tags on any of her primitives. johnson: you gotta talk to me to get a price. you gotta be a people person, and that's the name of the game. sebak: the game here also includes texas chain saws because several guys, like mickey holt, are sculpting logs. holt: i'm also carrying on the tradition from my father. he started this, and i'm just wanting to keep it going. sebak: people buy his folk-art american icons made of local wood, especially cedar. holt: i don't really know when they leave here
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what they do with a lot of it, but as long as they leave here with it, i'm happy. sebak: there are happy vendors who trade all kinds of goods. the carlin brothers have been coming here for more than 20 years. well, we're twins. we're twins. we've known each other for about 63 years. john is a retired math teacher from texas, and i've retired -- college professor from oklahoma. so we meet here in the middle at canton, and sell commemorative soda-water bottles. we're up to about 35,000 bottles. they go in value from about $2 apiece up to $400, $500, $600. started in '71 when the dallas cowboys won the super bowl. pepsi-cola did a bottle. we buy them in the grocery store. we go all over the country. a friend of mine said, "well, aren't y'all tryin' to make money?" and i said, "my god, if we were tryin' to make money,
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we would've had to quit years ago." we don't make any money. we have fun. sebak: well, here in texas, some of the fun is running into cowboy types, like john homer, whom lots of folks know as "john the saddle man." i figure, most people remember your first name and something about what you do, so john the saddle man works. sebak: he sets up an outdoor saddle showroom and knows that he may not sell them right away. homer: on an item that's kind of a high-dollar affair, people don't just walk up and say, "i believe i will." they kind of like to chew on it a little bit. then, once they get their mind made up, they call me. sebak: one of his handmade saddles is a high-dollar affair. homer: they'll start out $1,550 -- fully rigged, lifetime guarantee -- and then work their way up. sebak: if somebody's a good talker, can they get you to come down on the price? no. [ laughs ] everybody i deal with is a good talker. sebak: and lots of folks at this market are good eaters, too.
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randy burton sells hot corn on the cob from a big roaster. well, i seen some guys doing it, and i decided, well, i just as well try it, so i went and made me one. sebak: he stays busy. so far, it does pretty good. you ever get somebody to try it, they just keep coming back. sebak: randy pulls the husk back, wraps the cob in a paper towel, and everybody wants it dipped in his melted butter... or whatever it is. everybody's a little bit different. sebak: he also has a big selection of seasonings to shake on the corn. kind of like i just try to buy a little bit of everything and put it out there, and after i figure out what everybody's gonna buy, that's what i'll get. the lemon pepper is delicious. that and that parmesan cheese. i go through a lot of that. johnson: one thing i have found is turkey legs. i never heard of people eating turkey legs till i come to canton. man: we can wrap it to go! you can eat it slow! get 'em to go! 4-0-0! turkey legs! sebak: phil hickle has been selling these things
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for more than a decade. people ask us, "how come yours taste so much better than ours?" well, it's 'cause we smoke 'em. people look for the bulkiness, the juice that runs out of it when they pick it up. well, they're good. i drive over 100 miles just to get to eat one of 'em. the best turkey leg in canton. hickle: that's right, ma'am -- best in the west. all i know is they're good. sebak: food may be crucial at some markets, but at others, what's important seems to be when you arrive. about 30 miles south of pittsburgh, pennsylvania, in washington county, people line up at the local racetrack known as the meadows for the sale on the last sunday of every month. woman: the first ones in line have been there since friday night. then we start loading them in about 6:00 sunday morning. sebak: maureen kirwan and her crew collect fees from the lined-up vendors in their vehicles. morning. that's $50. is it going to rain? i don't think so. here at the meadows, as the dealers set up
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in the parking lot and in the grandstand building, there are already early shoppers who pay the dealer fee to start looking at 6:00 a.m. man: it costs $50 plus a couple dollars extra per head to come in early, but if you snooze, you lose. if you wait too long, you're gonna miss out on all the really cool stuff. well, i've got ox yokes, spinning wheels, and railroad memorabilia. i go for small items. [ groans ] early -- early 1900s, mid-1900s, some 1800s. boy: i guess collectors that collect stuff, so they're looking for what they want. people will buy anything. sebak: by the time it gets light, the 400 to 500 vendors are in place and probably haven't sold everything yet. over at one side, shoppers who pay $3 are lined up -- some in cars, some on foot -- waiting till they can get in at 8:00. i go to the back first -- the rear --
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because they let them in in order of who's first. i look for china. i look for old military stuff. breyer model horses. how much do you think we can get for him? they're like barbie horses but better. i've been collecting them since 1978, and i have over 800, but there's a few i don't have, so that's why i come out. they're pretty headstrong about wanting to get in as fast as they can and see the stuff. a lot of them will run up and down the aisles to see the good things before somebody else does. in the morning, it is unbelievable how the people will line up and buy and buy and buy, and this collecting thing is...big today. what caused that i don't know. i think for me is it's something to do extra, to make a little extra money. you know, you need that little extra. this is a wolverine toy from over in the pittsburgh area there. pull the lever here. [ tinny music plays ]
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it's from 1930. little red riding hood -- no chips or cracks. they made probably five, six different designs. the red shoes right now are going for about $1,200. mine's $450 -- she don't have red shoes. [ laughs ] this is called the tap-dancer -- mint in the box. you wind him up, and he does a tap dance, and he swings his arms around. when you get the toys, when you can get the box with it, you're better off, because, you know, sometimes it really can add a lot to the value of the toy. [ tapping ] the little tap-dancer, he's called. he's about $450, $425. well, there's a lot of old families in pittsburgh -- people who didn't throw things away for years and years and years.
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and probably pittsburgh is the place where a lot of people come to buy because it's cheaper in pittsburgh. this is the merrymaker band. give 'em a little wind here and see what happens. here's "stop." this was 1929. this was the mickey mouse -- supposed to be the mickey mouse, but they didn't want to pay for the license of it, so marx ended up calling it the merrymaker band rather than mickey mouse band. [ rattling ] [ laughs ] mint in the box, it's $2,000. this one here, i could probably go about, uh, around $800...on that. i'll come down. i'll give 'em a little bit of a discount. a lot of times they want a lot of discount! i can't do that. [ laughs ] sebak: here at the meadows, they're careful to not call this officially a "flea market." since 1978, when mary jewel kirwan got her husband and kids to help start all this,
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they've called it an "antique fair" or a "show." it just gives it a little more pizzazz, class than "garage sale," "flea market." "flea market" does tend to mean tube socks, and the items that you're gonna find on somebody's garage sale, and that's not what you're gonna find here. you're gonna find antiques and collectibles. sebak: so now daughter brigid and son michael run the show, sale, or whatever you call it. it's always been a sale. it's not just "show your stuff." it's a "sell your stuff." that's what they're here for. a flea market -- it definitely is a flea market. it's very organized, though. it's very clean. people are very friendly. in the 21 years that we've been coming here, never has been a bad day. sebak: so is it all worth it? financially -- no, physically -- no, and mentally -- no. sebak: but you do it anyway. but i like it. i didn't do too bad, really, today. it's been movin' -- movin' along.
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less packing than when i come -- that's the idea of it all, you know. woman: all we know is that it works and people are happy and they keep coming back and we consider ourselves to be very lucky. sebak: luck may play a factor, but adapting to the changing needs of shoppers is important, too. in march 1960, george bumb founded the flea market in san jose, california. it's changed and grown from 35 acres to a busy 120 today. want a bite? sebak: george's son, brian bumb, runs it now, and when he walks through the market, he likes to taste things. not too hot -- it's okay. sebak: the san jose flea market is open wednesday through sunday. four yards -- $8.00. sebak: and even midweek, a fabric vendor like charles tolbert always sets up at 7:00 a.m. tolbert: there's a lot of people from different countries that -- that live in san jose. they still handsew, and they make all their clothes. they don't buy them, so that's what makes the market pretty hot out here.
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they get a little bit more fabric, about 1 1/2 to 2 inches on each yard when i do it by hand. i mean, you're not gonna go broke comin' out and buyin' fabric. sebak: you can shop for electronics, clothing, or used items here, but you can also get fresh fruit and other foods in the aisle known as "produce row." aurora fausto and her family have one of the corner spots. fausto: the customer likes because we have the best produce. the people come and we try to give the bag, and "may i help you?" and give you that bag in the hands, you know. that's more like -- close to the customers. this is mexican pumpkin seed, and this is garlic pistachios... japanese peanuts with sesame seed, cashews -- oh, my goodness! i have a lot of stuff. sebak: well, if you want exotic vegetables to stir-fry... italian eggplant, bitter melon, and lemon grass.
2:00 am might run into nareth run, originally from cambodia, who's here most wednesdays. i'm the farmer. like, we cut yesterday and then we sell today. all asian vegetables, and this one bitter-melon leaf. and again, for stir-fry? uh... or seasoning? i haven't -- i have no idea about this one, but mostly, filipino -- they like it. are these called habaneros? [ laughs ] okay? [ gasps ] whoa! oh! man, that's hot... just a little bit. whoa! want a bite? oh, man! [ laughs ] oy! sebak: sometimes it's best to ask before tasting. hector garcia knows what's hot and what's not at his parents' stand. we sell a lot of mexican products imported from mexico.
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we got candies from mexico. we sell pis. most everything is vegetables from mexico. everything is imported. including these cactus leaves that in spanish they call nopales. they call them steaks -- mexican steaks. it's real easy to clean them. just go like this. it's real simple. if you want to do the egg omelet, they say you just do little slices like this. you start frying them. chop up some onions, some tomatoes. just throw the eggs in there, and that's your egg omelet. and it's good, man. it's good stuff. my wife makes it once in a while. you mix it with eggs, and it's great -- it's nopales. i actually met my wife here at the flea market. sebak: you can find just about anything here, including the item of clothing that scares some flea-market fans. north carolina sock. it's a good sock. sebak: so, how much? dos...por cinco. cuatro...por diez.
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sebak: all you need to know is the international language of buying and selling. we understand each other. it's cool. fausto: different kinds of people come, and we speak a little language -- different language, you know. we learn. when you talk about the immigrants that come here, the flea market stays within their comfort zone because it's very similar to the markets that they have in their countries. it's open-air and it gives them the feeling of home. my mouth is still burning from that thing. whew! sebak: well, out west, flea markets are sometimes called "swap meets." and down the coast here, in costa mesa, california, every saturday and sunday, there's a market that began as a swap meet, but it's evolved into something else. man: good day, shoppers, and welcome to the orange county marketplace. man #2: there's not much garage-sale merchandise here. it really isn't what most people think of as a flea market. woman: i've alwaysnjoyed coming to the marketplace because it's outdoors -- you're outside.
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it's much nicer than inside a mall. you can buy a bud light. you can walk around and have a beer, and you can take off your top and put on your shorts. man: when you come into this parking lot, and you see that these people got up early in the morning to set up and put their goods out in front of you under a tent, you really feel as a shopper -- you feel very good. total lack of intimidation. free samples today! sebak: and that's the way bob wants it. bob teller founded this market that's become an unusual mix of new merchandise and upscale services. hard to believe that you can come to a swap meet, get your hair cut, get a pedicure, and get a manicure. we have areas that have produce. we have areas -- arts and crafts. we have some closeout merchandise. we also have frozen, chocolate-covered bananas, you know, which is where i started my whole business career -- with frozen bananas. yummy, yummy, yummy, yummy. i love 'em.
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sebak: well, in 1968, bob the banana guy decided to try to start a swap meet. teller: well, we started off as a company that we called "treasures and trash." clean out your closet, clean out your garage, and turn your trash into treasure at the orange county fairgrounds. by doing that, we created a crowd of people over a period of time. and as it grew, people with stores said, "there are more people at that fairgrounds on the weekend than i see in my store," so they came out and had outlets out here. the advantage of being here at the swap meet is there aren't very many places in orange county where you have 20,000 people on a busy weekend that passes in front of your storefront. people come walking by and they stop. they're like, "wh-- did you see that price?!" it's a lot of fun. there's a lot of things going on. there's some incredible deals. we have the best price! we are sunglasses! the people walking by -- it gets their attention.
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the more attention i can attract, the more sunglasses i sell. actually, here at the swap meet, we don't sell. we, uh, show, usually upper-end vehicles like mercedes, lexus, bmws, and jaguar. we get the people's attention, and they come in, and the cars usually sell themselves. see? it's coordinated beautifully with her... sebak: that's carl rappl. he sells purses here. beverly hills bag lady has been here 20 years at the orange county marketplace. because we deal with so many manufacturers, we get a lot of one-of-a-kind bags that they never go into production with. these are bags that came from florence, italy, that we just came back from. these are gorgeous, hand-stained leathers. they're very expensive. teller: we get a bang out of it, and not everything's a great buy out here. i don't mean to say that, but if people shop around and see a value and they buy it, they're really proud of it. uh, probably the best deal is the asparagus -- nice, little, tiny asparagus -- $1.99 for a bunch.
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sebak: searching for the best deal is part of all this, but if you check out a place like the swap shop in fort lauderdale, florida, you'll find that lots of things contribute to the success of a market. this one is good in the sense that it's big. i think this one is a staple of south florida. you meet a lot of people from all over the world. sebak: the swap shop is a huge flea market that becomes the world's largest 13-screen outdoor theater at night. but it was just a humble, little one-screen drive-in when preston henn bought it back in 1963. henn: the first night that i had the drive-in theater was the night that jfk was assassinated. it was maybe two or three years before we started the flea market. sebak: since 1988, the swap shop has been open every day, even on christmas. and we get more new customers here on christmas day, people that have never been here and would never come here, because there ain't another thing to do
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in the whole greater miami area. well, here you have sort of permanent inside vendors and ever-changing outside ones like heather irving. irving: i have too much stuff i love it. i keep buying it, and this is the way i have to share it with people and make a little money. and here you have the added attraction of you never know what you'll find. look across the way -- the people have a full-sized bar and the stools. sebak: it actually sold very early in the morning, and it was brought out here by a guy named rocky bieger. bieger: actually, i'm in the trash business, and i own a moving company, too. a lot of people give me unwanted stuff that they don't want to move, so they say, "you take it." and i turn it over for whatever i can get for it. and if it's -- it's $5 or $10, it's just found money -- 100% profit. faucets are alone worth $100. will you take $10 apiece? no. no? sebak: rocky does okay. 9:30? i've only been here four hours, and i'm already $1,000 ahead.
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that's not a bad day. i'm takin' my wife on vacation for two weeks tomorrow, and it's all pocket change for us, right? sebak: everyone who sets out stuff hopes to make a few bucks. woman: we came out to sell some items to raise money for our family reunion that we're having in june. we've raised over $200. woman #2: everything's 50 cents per item for clothing, and $1.00 for shoes. any little bit that we get is better than nothing. nobody really enjoys the unpacking and repacking of stuff, but bobby arnold has an especially heavy job. i bring a truckload of weights and weight equipment every time i come out here. putting the stuff in the truck is at least a 4-hour job, because i try to bring a little something for everybody, from jump-ropes to heavy-duty olympic sets. i'll give you a good deal on them. i've got the little rubber ones, too. hey, now -- watch out, now. whoo!
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all right, man. not bad. sebak: it's a sale and a show, with a circus, too -- not a flea circus -- a real circus with spectacular animals led through the market every day by george hanneford. hanneford: more times than often, i walk by and people are so busy shopping for bargains that they don't even notice us walking by. watch out, folks! clear the way, please. make way for the elephants, please. no matter what you want, they've got it here. and the show is just like the cherry on top of the sundae. the hanneford family circus! [ fanfare plays ] sebak: the hanneford family is one of the world's great circus families, tracing their history back to the 18th century. they put on a small but impressive circus here every day, three times a day on weekends. hanneford: this is unique. we came here back in 1989. we were supposed to be here for 10 day days, and it's turned into about 12 years now.
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henn: it's what sets us apart. we're an entertainment shopping complex. sebak: but sometimes the entertainment is the shopping... señorito, señorita, perfume para la señora, el domingo. ...especially when you're drawn in by a perfume salesman like michel lancry, a frenchman who makes this into theatre, or as he says, "tay-ater." [ french accent ] it's theatre. all my life, i want sing. i want theatre. i no have chance. i have chance here. yeah, the people, they like me. i like the people. i speak french, spanish, italian, arabic, hebrew. you know? i have communication with the people. sometime i sing for the beautiful girl. oh, look! ♪ hey, baby! ♪ i want to rock 'n' roll eh, you -- i like this. this my life. i like my job. i like the swap shop. sebak: people also like the african art and show put on by mohamadou thiam from senegal.
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thiam: some people just come to get entertainment from me, because i'm a drummer, i'm a history-teller, i'm a dancer, you know, and i tell them some history about my country, about africa. some people come to collect stuff. some people come to learn. some people come to meet. some people come to -- to experience certain kind of things, like food. it's a variety, diversity. it's fantastic. everybody should come in this flea market. sebak: everybody can come to a flea market that's always open, but some sales are special events. every august, on one long weekend, people come to shop along 450 miles of highway 127 from kentucky to alabama. man: i've always been a yard-sale junkie, and the idea of being able to go down the highway and see one after another after another for hundreds of miles -- that's just irresistible. sebak: they call it the "127 corridor sale." it's thursday through sunday, but some folks start early.
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started settin' up on monday, and we was already rollin'. on tuesday afternoon, we started rollin'. today, it hit just like dynamite. they've been here just lined up, up and down the side of the road. they come just like that, and they leave just like that. here they come again. man: there's a nice old piece. yeah, that's a 1940 double-barrel popgun. you can get arrested for pointin' it at somebody. hey, it works! right there. sebak: john banner and ed hanson are two jokers from north carolina who set up here in kentucky. if you ever saw something you never wanted or never thought about buyin', we got it. hanson: we need $150 for it. we'll take a little less. that's a rare piece. banner: it's signed by gene autry. [ woman laughs ] i signed it, but it's his name. but he don't know it. i'm not tellin' anybody. we'll take $60 for it if you want that wagon. if i just stand here a little while, it might get cheaper, mightn't it? i'll tell you what -- we draw pretty women like flies.
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banner: i can't take but $45 for it, because it's worth it. $45. i don't know why every pretty woman stops here. sebak: where to stop becomes the big question. last year we sold $1,100, yard-sale stuff... yes, we did. 3 days. the name says "yard sale," but really, it's like a giant flea market. sebak: when they're not out here selling stuff, joe and janie hamilton often perform as abe lincoln and his wife, mary todd. is this cool or what? i'm the only second-generation abe lincoln portrayer in the a.l.p., which is the association of lincoln presenters. janie: mary todd would think that she was above this. you didn't do this if you were from a well-to-do family. sebak: now everybody does it. you got tiny, individual yard sales and common spaces like this field, where jessica padgett has piles of stuff. i don't know -- clothes and candles. i've got married last month, and some of it's wedding-shower gifts.
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my husband's really proud of that inspector gadget thing, the doll that they had at mcdonald's. somethin' wrong with him? i've been told to watch it and make sure it don't get gone unless i can sell it for good. we've been shoppin' and lookin' at stuff. at first, there was not very many toys, but after that, when there was so many toys at every places. sebak: you browse and you drive. you stop in this motel courtyard, where reg moulton sells old stuff, and betty westfall has a mix of things. it's a convenient spot. it's real nice. yesterday morning at 10:00, i left the parkway. i bought all the way. well, i came here on wednesday, and i was thinkin', "oh, no, this isn't gonna be very good." it's good. [ laughs ] i spent over $500 between the parkway and here. now here's something right here i sell a lot of...
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is your leather gloves. i found that money changer yesterday...right there. i've been in the business for 40 years. i've never seen it in a book, and i found it yesterday. i had to stop by the bank to get some money to buy it with. now give me my money back. for all you out there that refuse to go to the eye doctor, i have a -- a -- sight-seers here. sebak: well, your sightseeing may take you to jamestown, tennessee. it was here, in the late '80s, that the idea for this 127 sale was cooked up by mike walker and his staff. wait -- what do you mean, you can't bargain anymore? to make a sale, you've got to take at least a quarter off. well, i was the county executive at that time, and just wanting to get economic activity started in the area, we began talking about ideas and ways to get people on to highway 127, and before you know it, we thought about a big yard sale. traffic jams in this area were not commonplace,
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but for one weekend a year, we can put up with it. a lot of people get frustrated, but by and large, most people here love it. sebak: and people come from far and wide. chuck hettinger from new york city is here with his friend, frank decaro, who's covering this event for the new york times. decaro: first i read about it in country living magazine, and then i was at the gym, and these two guys i know there have a cable-access show where they dress up as clownish drag queens -- and i thought, "if drag queens are on to this, and country living magazine is on to this, i think it's something we want to be at." hettinger: it's like looking for a needle in a haystack. you never know which one is going to have "the thing." we pulled off at the side of the road, and we were looking through all this stuff and not really finding very much. i looked down, and i found the thing that chuck is looking for. yeah, my holy grail. this is it! sebak: it's a big piece of art glass. this is the blenko vase, and here's the top...
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stopper. chuck thought it was a good deal at $125. and... he's got 7 or 8 other pieces by the same company. ...and the bottom of this is how you can tell that it's blenko -- from where the stem was broken off when it was blown 'cause these are all handblown. decaro: a lot of stuff that we collect really is of value just because we say it's of value. decaro: this looks ghastly -- too much clothes. hettinger: ...converted double-wide. way too much clothes. i'm starting to worry that i'm not going to get it all home. boiled peanuts -- i haven't seen those yet. if i had a u-haul behind me and was just driving back to new york, i would be buying a lot more stuff than i'm buying now. i don't know. i'm not tingling. sebak: the sale ends on sunday, but even in a churchyard, you can find delicious surprises, like at the booth of melissa cardin and her husband, who specialize in pork rinds. normally, i stand up here and i sell and keep the crowd up here, and then my husband, oliver -- he does all the cookin'.
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well, you get the temperature up to 400°, get me a scoop... pretty good-sized scoop... toss it in there... then i got this to hold it down, 'cause it'll pop up. it takes about a minute. and our pork rinds -- we got a plain, a salt and vinegar, sweet barbecue, mild cajun, and a hot and spicy. and they sort of, like, expand. of course, i always lift it up a little bit to look to see how they're doin'. people just like watchin'. then when they get done, i take this and... sort of get the grease off of it... and i sprinkle the seasoning on them. any flea market we go to, we seem to do real well with the pork rinds. sebak: lots of people do well at this sale, and you get to see some of the south, too. decaro: but it's so beautiful. if you get tired of the scenery, there's junk everywhere,
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so it just keeps you going and going. sebak: let's say you keep going, and you end up in washington, d.c., on a sunday morning. you will want to wander up to capitol hill, to seventh street, to the eastern market. you may find eager dealers starting to set up here and across the street in the parking lot of the local junior high. you should come later on when our display is done -- it's very beautiful. we're not set up yet. this will look like our home here in a few minutes. man: this is capitol hill. it's the center of the american culture, and the neighborhood reflects that. it has welcomed us into it. man #2: and you get a whole lot of tourists that come to see the hill, and they have things that people want. plus it's a late setup, as you can see. oh... it's a sunday-brunch market, you know. sebak: it's here because of the old eastern market built in 1873 --
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inside is still a great place for food and produce and fresh seafood. washington state. the outdoor flea market began around 1983, when tom rall got some other vendors to set up here with him on sundays. it was sort of anarchy that created the marketplace. we just pretty much accepted everybody that wanted to set up. sell everything from furniture to collectibles to... whatever i can get my hands on. antiques and trivial things that you and i wouldn't -- maybe you! [ laughs ] because we're on capitol hill, it's a transient neighborhood. every four years, you'll have a new group of people come in. man: we have a pretty good market down here for just functional furniture, not necessarily antique, but functional. a lot of people are looking for a dresser or looking for a secretary or whatever. man #2: it's a lot of energy. it's what a flea market should be -- a lot of color, a lot of flavor, a lot of mixture of everything.
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woman: well, i come because of the variety. i mean, you got clothes, you got jewelry, you got furniture, you have everything, and then you run into people you haven't seen in a long time because this is a meeting place. sebak: you have the coolest stuff. thank you. what do you call this? retro. 1950s. and hawaii-ana, with the tikis down here. i like old things. i'm attracted to basically things from the '30s, basically '40s. i'm also an artist, a sculptor. you name it, i can make it. this market has always attracted a lot of artists and craftspeople, even photographers. man: i've been able to sell a lot more than any gallery's ever sold for me, or any other -- any other way i've ever tried, and i've been at it for 15 years, so... this is the best spot i've ever found. man #2: i know there are people here from africa, from pakistan,
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from india, from america, and they all know something about the products they sell. woman: it's handmade ceramics pottery from tunisia. this one is my favorite -- this one here. and that one over there. i'm to short to reach it. things from mali, africa, say, around...west africa. sebak: and if you're in the market for a carpet, you may meet zaki arif. 6'9". i go to school on the weekdays, but weekends i come and help my uncle here at the flea market. that one is 4'x6'. that one i can give $300. how much? $300. that's nice, too. i'm gonna take a quick look. arif: that's a war rug from afghanistan. yeah, this one is basically history right here, woven into a rug. this is the outline of a map of afghanistan. and this is the former communist puppet
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called najibullah -- his name. and this is basically the hand of the russians right here. you see the russians with their tanks, helicopters, jets, coming into afghanistan. and then we have the refugees down here on camels and horses in pakistan, and then we have the freedom fighters fighting back at him. man: well, there's a coincidence in this. my father-in-law's a vietnam helicopter pilot, and the vietnam helicopter pilots association had their annual reunion in washington this week, and i was walking by, and i saw a carpet with helicopters on it, and i just felt i had to buy it. it's fate. arif: this area, it's pretty good. a lot of people, they've been around the world, so they know the value of the handmade carpets. we do pretty good here. my favorite thing for today? oh, i don't know -- maybe my bear ashtray... for sillies.
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i love it. i love it. i won't change it for a store. [ laughs ] i won't. man: if you love art, if you like diversity, you like just to hang out and talk to smart people during the day, it's a wonderful place for you. sebak: you know what? flea markets can be wonderful places. people have always wanted to come to the common market, to be outside especially. when you're addicted to junk, you're just -- you love it. you have to have it. sebak: and certain interesting people are just drawn to these things. if it's in your blood, it's in your blood. man: it's a lot of little things that are really hard to say what it is that makes it successful. zubrod: there are places that are out there that you can buy the past, even the past as close as the 1980s -- that you can buy the '70s, that you have this closet -- that's a magical thing. sebak: it is, and these magical american markets seem forever willing to expand,
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to make room for everybody and their stuff. on a spring day, in the sun, to be able to shop. it's not the item so much as the feeling that they get. it seems like you're selling, but it's also the celebration -- being able to just celebrate other people... community. the best thing is the people you meet. woman: especially if you like the interaction with the people, it's just fun. even on days when you might not sell as much as you really would like to sell, it's just great. it's just great. -- captions by vitac -- we look at their t-shirts. decaro: if we were young and hip instead of old and tired, we'd buy this now, i think. banner: what is this, a videotape thing? a pbs debut, and i don't have a scrap of makeup on! for who? sebak: public television. oh, no! how much film do you have in there? lancry: i sell perfume. sebak: and it's the real thing.
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ah, monsieur. ooh-la-la. you seem to have a lot of manly stuff. to tell you the truth about it, i'm a deer hunter. we try to say, "look, you've got on a titan hat. we've got a titan bottle here." that would be a wonderful day, if we had nothing to take home. westfall: that pretty well wraps it up. "a flea market documentary" was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you.
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>> tonight ofrontline, education's hidden crisis... >> why do you want to drop out? why are you leaving? >> because i don't like school. >> okay, first of all, you're only 16. >> ...hundreds of thousands of children failing to finish school every year. >> a lot of kids who should be graduating are not graduating. there is a problem here. >> frontline takes you on a journey through one american high school... >> this school was once referred to as a dropout factory. >> ...following four at-risk students through an entire semester at houston's sharpstown high. >> you see how mad i am? i'm shaking! >> what's going to be the
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breaking point is his anger. >> i have to graduate from high school, no matter what. >> he's tremendously at risk. it's a big push for him to graduate on time right now. >> i think she's been in class about five times in five weeks. >> life is life, school is school. school and life are two different things. >> if i go to college, that's a big, big step for my whole family. >> a look at the struggles... >> you turn your back on me! you don't even appreciate what i do for you! >> ...the challenges... >> this isn't the streets. he wants to press charges right now. >> ...and the triumphs... >> together we can. >> whatever it takes. >> no excuses. >> ...of "dropout nation." >> frontline is made possible by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. and by the corporation for public broadcasting. major funding is provided by
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the john d. and catherine t. macarthur foundation, committed to building a more just, verdant and peaceful world. and by reva and david logan, committed to investigative journalism as the guardian of the public interest. additional funding is provided by the park foundation, dedicated to heightening public awareness of critical issues. and by tfrontline journalism fund, with grantsa1 from susan hunter and douglas watson, and scott nathan and laura debonis. major funding for "dropout nation" is provided by american graduate: let's make it happen, a public media initiative made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. >> (on intercom): good morning,
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apollos! today is day 109. it is thursday, february 2. at this time, we ask that you stand as we honor america and texas with our pledges. >> c'mon, guys, straight to 140, you're late. detention, you've got to get to school on time. stop, don't even try it. go to 140. make sure black adidas jacket with white stripes down the sleeves comes in there. he's trying to escape. uh-uh! our attendance is really low, and so we're trying to do whatever it takes to get them to know that it's important to be here for homeroom, first period, second period, every period. >> ids, have them out. >> we're a school of about 1,300 kids. we're mostly hispanic and african american, but the common denominator is poverty. our kids come from some pretty
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crappy conditions in and around houston. it has been a school that maybe people forgot about over the years. it has had a terrible reputation. "it's all ghetto there," and, "that's where the pregnant girls go." it's called a dropout factory. i mean, those numbers don't lie. the pressure is to get better. so we're still working to change that culture. >> why do you want to drop out? why are you leaving? why don't you like school? >> hey, look at him when you talk to him. >> okay, first of all, i don't understand why you think you're gonna not go to school-- you're only 16. what does that mean? >> he had it planned in his mind that when he turned 17, then 18, he was gonna drop out and there was nothing... and that's the sad thing, is they feel when they turn 18,
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we can't touch them. where you gonna live at? gonna live with your mom? >> yeah. >> for the rest of the your life? are you gonna work? i'm asking you, you gonna work? hello? you have a plan? why don't you want an education, sweetie? you want to talk to me privately? >> take him. you can talk to miss washington. >> and so i had to break down, you know, what you are gonna do? where are you gonna live? where are you... "i'm gonna live with my mom." and then, after a while, when we broke it down, that's not where he wants to be. and if he does, and when he does graduate, he will be the first one in his family to graduate high school. >> so you saved one today? >> yes! (laughing) one of many. always putting out fires. >> we are going to get marcus
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this morning. marcus is failing both of his first and second period classes. he usually doesn't get here until about third or fourth period. he has, like, a 28 average in spanish, and he needs spanish to graduate. there's a lot of students that, you know, i either text or call them to make sure they're up to get to school, because a lot of them don't have transportation or even an adult in their life that can help them with those kind of things that they're not prepared to deal with. it's all a part of sharpstown. oh my god. this is so close to the school. this is a joke. it's not even a block! there he is. i am going to give you a piece of my mind! >> oh, shoot! >> you hear me? how far do you think you are from the school? >> it's, like, five minutes? >> it's not even five minutes. >> i usually miss the first and
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second period. i got to my first period class and did some work. the classes i'm here, as and bs. >> and the classes you're not here for? >> yeah, them fs. i don't go because it bores me sometimes. that's why i go home early. i go to school half a day and then just walk off, go home. >> what time did you go to bed? >> like 2:00-something, 3:00. >> so that's your problem, and that's why you can't wake up. what's causing you to stay up so late? stress? how was your dad and your mom last night? >> my pops was drunk. like pissy drunk. my parents, they drink a lot, every day. my mom, she has a job. she's a good lady, she is, but she just has a drinking problem. and it's because of my dad. he doesn't work, he drinks, you know, but when he get... when he's not drunk,
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coolest person in the world, i love him to death. cool, cool. but when he get drunk, he acts like he's six. and you know, i gotta take care of him basically when he drunk. >> so did you have any confrontations? >> a little bit, but... >> did you do what i said? >> mm-hmm. >> what'd you do? >> i just went in my room. >> okay, and what'd you do in your room? >> smoked. >> do your parents know that you're sitting in your room smoking? >> mm-hmm. and they don't care? >> they... i mean, like, yeah. they don't like that i smoke. but it's like... i smoke, i mean, that's just me. i got a lot to deal with, you know. i got personal home problems, but i try not to let that get in the way of my school 'cause i don't like walking around with a mad face, you know, just angry at the world. 'cause my parents making me mad, i can't take it out on
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everybody else. but i got a lot of stress on me. >> all right, we need to get you to spanish. >> i don't put in the effort. i know that. i have everybody that's just really putting the effort in and helping me and it's my life, and i realize it though, i do. >> you get up there. get to class, all right. >> yes, ma'am. >> all right. >> all right, welcome! everybody should have a warm-up. take a seat, take a seat, take a seat. >> it's been plenty of occasions i wanted to quit school and drop out. but it seems like every time i think that i will drop out, people been telling me not to. "if you drop out, then you're gonna be like everyone else." which i don't want to be like everyone else.
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i want to be different. >> we got a couple seats left here. >> and my momma wanted me to graduate. i'm going to be her only kid to graduate, so that's my goal right now. she didn't graduate, neither did my two my two older sisters or my two older brothers, and i'm in the middle, so i have to be the positive role model for my two... my younger siblings. so i want to show them, i want to graduate so i get my diploma. >> number one! what is it? >> angry. >> yes. >> i put frustrated. >> i'll take frustrated. mad. >> this is his fifth year in high school, you know, he's 19. he should have graduated last year. but lawerance just... he has major anger issues. he blows up and is disrespectful, and he curses and stuff like that. and that's what's hard for me, because he's so close. and he's a smart kid, he's an articulate kid, so that's my biggest goal, is to get him through the next four months. >> all right, third one across? >> nervous. >> uh, no. >> hopeful. >> i wanna see him succeed, because you feel like if they get to the point where they drop out, then it's just downhill from there. i mean, it's just,
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what would become of him? >> lawerance, he's a hard one to figure out. he's a personable kid, and when he's okay he as nice as can be. but when he's not okay, something obviously has caused him to be very angry. you can't stay inside with a hat on. >> is the hat on my head right now? >> no, but go ahead. >> mr. g be trippin'. like, he takes the smallest things and try to blow it to the biggest proportions. it seems like every time i come to sharpstown, there's something. i get in trouble for the little pettiest things. sometimes it feel like everybody against me here sometimes. i mean, some days it feels like everybody with me. so them days, i just roll with the punches. i keep going. >> you can't wear a hat in there. >> everybody wearing their hat. what are you talking about? everybody wear their hat in there. >> no, come on in here. it's the whole interaction of doing school that he doesn't get. i mean, you saw it today. it's the hat there. it's the officer that's telling him to stop.
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but you gotta give up the hat. going to happen!finitely not >> okay, that's your choice, it's a bad one. and the odds are probably that he's not going to make it. but you don't give up on him. >> get in here. where've you been? three days? >> home. >> all right, come on. let's get you a pass to class. >> i have been missing some days. but, like, i know missing days, like, bring me back on my work. but i'm a very intelligent person. i can do it. i believe in myself. >> so you haven't been here for the last three days? why? how you gonna graduate? how you gonna do well? >> sometimes it ain't easy to get up and go to school because you don't want to be around
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everybody with your problems. it really is. when you ain't got nobody there? i'm doing all this by myself. on my own. >> and you gonna have a good day today? no problems? >> no. >> okay, okay. she doesn't live with anybody, so she's been all over the place. she stays with friends. she called one night at like 10:00 and didn't have anywhere to stay, she was staying on the streets. but she's here, so we'll do the best we can. >> life is life. school is school. school and life are two different things. >> juniors, what year are you graduating from college? >> '17. >> 2017. sophomores? >> '18. >> 2018. >> i love school. i want to go to college and stuff. i want to be something. i want to be a obstetrician. that's what i want to be! (laughing) >> there are so many endearing qualities to sparkle. she doesn't think anything is
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impossible. on her good days, she's just the sweetest, greatest, smartest kid. why is it helpful to understand the concept of future value? go ahead, sparkle. >> so you can prepare and know what you're getting yourself into, and you will know where to go and how far to take it. >> she has great aspirations. i mean, what she wrote her vision of her life in ten years, not only was she a doctor, but she had lived in europe, spoke many languages and had taken etiquette classes in paris. and all i can think is if you don't at least get out of high school, every one of those dreams is pretty much snatched away from you. as much school as she's missed, i feel like she's guaranteed to have to do summer school unless she feels like repeating tenth grade. she's already a little bit older than she should be to be in the grade she's in. once a kid repeats two grades, they are almost completely on track to drop out. so the next few months are
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crucial for her. >> it ain't just school. it's my life, too. so it's a lot going on. i don't want to talk about it because i don't want to cry in front of all these people. sometimes i have different moments to where i push... the people that are really here for me, i push them away. why? because in my life, a lot of people have came in and then left out. so i don't let nobody in. i'm gonna leave you where you at, on the outside looking in. >> that's not a friday shirt. i was in north carolina. i was retired from the public school system after 31 years or so. but still working-- i wanted to look at something a little different. we still have too many kids that don't believe they can have a successful future.
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come here, come here. >> i'm not wrong. >> our kids come from stuff that we don't even want to think about. we can't even begin, i don't think, to grasp and understand. what poverty does is, our kids come and go. they start academically a year or two behind. somewhere along the way, they've gotten lost and they have to catch up. you see the signs. erratic behavior. sometimes it's isolation. sometimes it's just blatant acting out. excessive absences. did you eat this morning? and then you start to have the conversation over breakfast because they haven't eaten, and they say, "i don't have a place to stay." it puts a strain on people. why are you not in class? >> i'm starving. it's because i didn't eat last night because of my job. i got off at 12:00. so i just try to get here. >> well, i'm glad you're here. >> i wasn't able to eat breakfast either, so... >> do you eat bananas? >> yeah.
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>> do you want that one? for marco, getting a snack out of that cabinet is his touch base and just letting me know, "i'm here." >> thank you. >> it's all good. >> i'll see you later. >>when was the last time you ate? >>yesterday at school, until right now. >>why haven't you eaten? >>i work, and, uh... i wasn't able to eat because i don't have money, and i went home and right away i had to go to work. and that's when everything just went and changed. like, my whole life changed. just seeing my mom cry just made me not want to go to school anymore and just help her pay her bills and help my little sister stay in school. need some help? >> yes, can i get some of the spicy jerk turkey? >> i dropped out for a whole semester.
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i was 17 at the time, 16, and i was working 40 hours or more a week, which i still do. and i didn't get off until 3:00 in the morning, 2:00 in the morning. got home around 4:00 or 5:00 and then i'd sleep for like three or four hours and then, i don't know, i was never used to that life, so i just had to suck it up. my mother, she care. she used to tell me, "you're going to go back to school one day, right?" and i was like, "yes, mom." i have to graduate from high school no matter what. my brother didn't do it, and i don't want to be cutting grass like him. and i was just like, "i need to come back. like, i have to go back to school." >> when marco came to school, i remember this, he was so happy
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he goes, "ms. church, ms. church, i came back to school. you know i dropped out, ms. church, but i'm really gonna give it a try, i'm really gonna give it a try!" however, i must be transparent with you, it's a big push for him to graduate on time right now. (on walkie-talkie): dean church. i'm in a conference, i'm going to turn my radio down. thank you. >> marco's no angel. every day is not a wonderful adventure with marco. well, it is an adventure, it's not always wonderful. >> first of all, i wanted to talk about marco's behaviors in class. because, as you know, there was an issue in your classroom the day before yesterday. we're trying to support marco to help push him through this process. he's going through a process right now. >> when marco came into the classroom, i thought he was going to do well. and he started acting out. and i tried to talk with him and i called his parents, and i was unable to get them. >> marco's mother is actually in the process of being deported. that's pretty much the reason why, when you were making those phone calls at home, you could not reach a parent.
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>> my mom was arrested january 1. i was worried about my mom getting deported. >> to be in this position when your father's already gone and now you're at risk of having your mother be deported, that's a lot. >> that day, i just lost it because of my family problems, you know, what i was going through. i snapped real quick and i couldn't control it. that's something i should learn how to do, control my emotions, my behavior, and just, you know, be the bigger person and just walk away from it. >> and do you know that, with all this going on, marco's here at 7:45 in the morning? with all of this going on. so to me, yes, he's at risk, he's tremendously at risk. but is this student trying? yes. does this student always make the right decisions? no. >> do you think we're going to see him in a cap and gown at the end of the semester? >> we better see him in a cap and gown at the end of the semester! i'm going to say yes. however, if we do not, we're gonna lose him, and i don't want to lose him.
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>> in a few years, houston is supposed to surpass chicago in terms of size, so we will become the third largest city in the country. we serve about 204,000 students. we have 70,000 children who can't read on grade level. there's no question in my mind when i got here our graduation rate was too low, our dropout rate was too high. >> there's no discussion. we have a motion to second. please vote. >> i got a letter from our commissioner of education, said you have these four high schools we have designated as dropout factories. sharpstown high school was one of those four schools. we used to do focus groups on the kids who dropped out. we'd ask, "why did you drop out?" i was just shocked when i heard more and more about, "school's not interesting, it's not
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challenging, it's not engaging. they don't care about me there." and that's the part that we can fix. and so we started making a program called apollo 20. >> i want to get started by telling you a little bit about apollo. it is called the apollo 20 because we started off with four high schools and then we had some middle schools and we just included elementary schools last year, which makes 20 schools. we have five tenets. human capital-- that means to have a highly effective teacher and principal in every school. >> we started making some changes and holding people accountable. >> increased time on task. and that is, we have a week that we come in earlier... >> we ended up adding an hour to the school day. we added two weeks to the school year. >> high dosage of tutoring. it's great service to our students. >> we tutored all ninth graders in math for 70 minutes a day. >> a culture of high expectations.
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and data-driven instruction-- making changes as needed so you address student needs. >> we also went out and raised about $17 million. we got a huge award from jpmorgan chase, and the foundations here in houston really stepped up, and we had individual contributions. and i'll be honest with you, i was a little miffed that we had to go out and raise the money. i quite frankly believe that these are our kids, we ought to be figuring out how to find the money in our budget. but we got a lot of push back from some folks here in houston. it's, "why are you spending that amount of money on those kids?" it's been controversial because we decided we would reconstitute the school and replace the principals, all the assistant principals, all thteachehe would have to reapply for their jobs. quite frankly, rob was the first person who came to mind. he is the kind of guy that's gonna do whatever it takes.
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he cares deeply about all kids. and rob doesn't understand failure. he sees success. >> they called me on a tuesday, i was here on a thursday, and that afternoon, they wanted an answer. that's how our superintendent works. sam, what are you drinking? there's no reason to have a school, even an inner city school, that has kids of poverty. that can't be a good school. whatever it takes, no excuses, and that's how it should be. >> how many days did you get detention for being late? >> brandi was one person that i wanted to have on campus. half mom, half statistician. i keep forgetting her title 'cause i'm not into titles. >> you got here on time, i saw you. >> but brandi is here to help us focus in on the data. i can't figure out all the stuff she does with data. and she likes it!
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>> so this is our data room, part of the apollo 20 program. it's a visual of every student on our campus by class period, by subject, and it tracks how they're doing and what we need to do to help them improve academically. the students down here that failed have a yellow dot or a brown dot, which means that those students are in some sort of double dose math. so they're either in a math, an extra math computer lab course, or they have a two-on-one tutoring course. >> reciprocal, remember what that means? >> flip and change? >> flip it! >> we have a lot of kids that do really well in elementary school and kind of fell off in middle school and keep falling in high school. >> whoa, what's going on in chem? >> somehow, they fell off of being involved and learning in school, and so we use the data to kind of pull those kids and talk to them. see, look at that, you got 45. you only missed 12 of the multiple choice.
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all you need is the writing. so are you going to spend every waking hour with her doing the writing? huh? >> yeah. >> and you're not going to drop out. >> nah. >> look at me. you promise? >> yeah, i promise. >> i mean, i got him to pass the math, what are you doing? excelling academically helps them emotionally. you know, it helps them feel confident and successful. so we work on all of it, every side of it. >> i'm 17 years old. i have two kids. my newborn is two months. his name is joaquin. and my daughter is about to be three years old next month. >> so for her high school career, she's had a baby. and she's going to graduate this year. one of the things that i noticed when i started here at sharpstown was that there were a
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lot of girls that were pregnant and/or that had kids. there were probably 30 to 35 girls on our campus. so i started the teen moms and expectant moms club. we've had lot of girls in the last four months end up pregnant. so what you're doing right now is writing your story. convince the other girls in this school to try to wait until after you graduate. okay, who wants to go next? come on... nakia, go. >> i have a two-year-old daughter. her name is kianna jenkins... >> nakia, at the end of clubs, reluctantly told me that she's worried that she may be pregnant again. so i'm gonna go get a pregnancy test and she's gonna come down and we're gonna find out. so what's happening? are you scared? >> yes. >> have you thought about what happens if it's yes? >> i don't know yet, but i'm not ready for another one. >> i'm gonna support you
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no matter what, but... i am disappointed that, you know, you've been through this before, you know? and i want you to go to college. >> yeah, i want to go to college too, that's why i'm saying i'm not ready for another one. >> all right. you need the directions? you know what to do. okay. so you know where the teacher's bathroom is right there? >> yeah. >> have you looked at it? >> no.
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>> it's no. >> oh, yes, thank you, god! >> this is good news. >> some stuff to me is more important than others. football is one of the most important to me. i love football, because it's so physical, and, like, you actually can hit somebody and not get in trouble for it. all your stress that you've had for the past any time, just period, you can take out on the football field. it feels so good when you hear
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everybody calling your name, just from the stands. everybody, that feels good. then the lights, that's the best part. the lights. they just shining down, and you're running the ball the light's showing. it's beautiful. >> you don't give me what i want now, i'm going to take it out of you after practice. so you better get after it. he can definitely go to college and play football. hands down. i have kids who are going to college this year that aren't nearly as talented as him. that's how much talent he has. >> that's really the only reason i come to school-- to play football. during the football season, since seventh grade, i make good grades. come to school every day. and then as soon as the football season's over, it seems like i just fall off. >> marcus went to westbury high school, which is a school right down the way, actually our rival
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school. and he got kicked out of westbury. and the principal would not allow him to come back. and he didn't come here until november of last year. your right arm. and your left arm. what marcus' problem is, is that there's a rule in place that if you transfer from one school to another school, you have to sit out a full calendar year. >> push! >> because he's a junior, he actually arrived here after football season, he technically wouldn't be eligible to play until after football season. >> if you had to sit out a year because of the transfer rule, if the year's until november 21st, you'd be eligible for basketball. >> but i won't be eligible for football. >> but you wouldn't be eligible for football. >> i have to play football. i don't know what's going to happen. i can't say i'm going to finish school. because really, that's... football is my life.
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you know? i've got to play football. i have to. there's no telling me i can't play. i can't deal with that. that's basically telling me don't come to school no more. >> i want you in school playing, because this could be your ticket. do you have $25,000, $30,000 to go to the school of your choice right now? >> no. >> what would that be? what school would that be? >> i want to just go to college. period. i really... it wouldn't matter. yeah, because really, i never thought that i actually could go to college. nobody did. my momma never went, my brother, my daddy, my sister, nobody, you know? if i go to college that's a big, big step, a big step for my whole family. any college, any college. >> if marcus doesn't have the opportunity to play football, there is a great chance that marcus won't finish high school. a great chance.
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>> this is a poster of my life. i was born in houston, texas, on august 31, 1994. >> my class is called the game of real life. the class is aimed primarily at kids at high risk of dropping out of school. why were you arrested? >> for vandalism of school property. >> and this class is to teach them financial literacy and college application/skill building. >> in order to get that kind of job, i need to have a degree in criminal justice or chemistry, one of those. >> the idea is that if we show them what is attainable and how to get it, then hopefully they'll stay in school and pursue those dreams. >> that's my life. a little bit. >> but sparkle, i haven't
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really seen her this semester. and it's february, and literally i think she's been in class about five times in five weeks. i need to know where you've been. you haven't been in class. >> oh. because, miss... i don't know, miss. i was sick, that's why i wasn't here for, like, a week. i was sick, i wasn't feeling good. >> what i'm trying to get to, sparkle, is we looked at your records. we know your real address is nowhere near sharpstown high school. so this school and this district do not have to allow you to be on this campus. and mr. g. and everybody else is asking, why are we spending all these resources, our time, our energy, our patience, our money, our space to try to make a way for you to be successful, but we all feel like we're meeting a wall with you? >> i think school, it ain't nothing but adding on to my problems.
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it's a big situation right now with my son. and that situation, it's not making me happy. >> all i know about sparkle's background is what she first shared in class. she shared that she had a baby. she's from new orleans. moving from new orleans to houston after hurricane katrina was really traumatic. and then her mom died, and she lived with family. and slowly throughout the year it's become, "now i live just with friends, i sleep on their couch, i sleep on their floor." and apparently, somewhere between all of this, now her son has been taken away from her as well. even if a quarter of that is true, it's a devastating reality for, you know, a kid in high school. the last time i even really seen you besides yesterday was about two weeks ago. >> if i can't do it, then i can't do it. i'm one person trying to do a whole bunch of million other things. >> what about if i say to you, as a student, that's your only job? your only job is to come to
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school. >> that is not only my job. school ain't my life. school ain't the only thing that's working through my life right now. i got a whole bunch going on right now. a whole lot. i've got to get my son. i've got to work on school. i've got to try to get a job, make sure i can lay somewhere every night. make sure i can eat every day. that's my job. >> do you want that to be your future? >> not at all. it shouldn't even be like this right now. i'm too young for this. >> that is your future from this moment forward, unless you decide to get here every day and get your education and get your diploma. isn't that enough for you to put forth your full effort? >> no. because let me tell you why. i'm so used to people coming in my life and leaving out, i'm scared to let any of you all in. i really am. i can't let nobody in that's going to leave. either you there, you there or you not, you not.
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>> i don't think any educator ever forgets the kid or the kids they believed they failed. but it stings so bad when you can think of someone and go "oh, my god, i hope that kid turned out okay." but if you've had that experience, i think all it does is fuel you to work that much harder. so for me, clearly i'm thinking of a kid my first year of teaching who was a nightmare. but i hope he learned to read! i hope he learned to behave! but maybe because i had that burn my very first year, that's why i want to work so hard with the next one or the next sparkle. if we fail it will be a great tragedy for us. for sparkle. but i think everyone is going above and beyond to do everything they can so that she doesn't fail, and we don't fail her.
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>> lawerance doesn't really have an adult in his life. and even though he's 19, i feel like i want to be that adult that's kind of pushing him along. otherwise i feel like he'll just fall off. good morning. you still sleepy? >> mm-hmm. >> so how come you didn't go talk to mr. gasparello yesterday? mr. gasparello said you walked through his office or whatever but you didn't say anything to him. >> my relationship with him began with him being disrespectful to a teacher, and me kind of pulling him out. and that's where i kind of found out about his background and the things that had been happening to him with his family and things like that. you've got a goal and you're so close to it. right? what's that goal? >> graduating. >> okay. how long you got?
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>> four months. >> that's right. it's four months. i mean, surely. four months. you can do it. you can avoid confrontation. >>my personal life is crazy. i don't think nobody can deal with it but miss brevard is trying to help me with it. it's driven her crazy. so i don't know. it's hard to explain. it feels like all the weight is on my shoulders for some reason. so the smallest thing is big to me now. so it just keeps piling up. but i talk to miss brevard so she help me knock stuff down. so it's not as big as it was. >> lawerance? what's going on? come here. what's wrong with you? come here! why are your eyes all red? hey.
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hey, hey, hey. can we go sit down and talk? lawerance was sent here from california. and he said he was involved with gangs and drugs. he lost some people very close to him and came here to get away from that, and that's how he ended up here at sharpstown. what's wrong, what's going on? what happened? his mom has been in and out of prison, and i think that affects him a lot, that he has no control over her, you know, and what happens to her, so he goes all day thinking about it and being sad, and then just kind of gets to that point where it wells up and he can't control it anymore. >> okay, but let's be honest. what was she doing?
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>> don't take today and make it the way your life is permanently. today is just a bad day. >> you have not. i have seen you. lawerance, you're telling me that... >> you love your mother. love her. respect her. but do something with your life so that you don't end up like that. do you want to graduate? you don't care? >> it's going to get better, i promise you. i know it's hard now, but it's going to get better. i can't look at somebody like lawerance or marcus and not want
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to do everything i can to help them. but there's 1,302 of them here, and it's just hard to make sure that every single one of them is okay every day. that's the burden that we deal with-- knowing there are kids that may slip through the cracks. >> y'all are a little too loud. you're too loud, mr. bernardi. stop being so loud. >> the biggest obstacle i think that marco had to, you know, overcome this year, his mom was at risk of being deported. and so that was very, very heavy on him. keeping in mind that while he's dealing with that he's also looking at, "oh, my gosh, am i going to graduate on time?" i said, "marco, may, you know, really, really doesn't look good right now. we'll either try the summer or even december of next year." and then his mom got out. that was almost like the
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birth of a second chance. >> okay, so talk to me a little bit. you were all excited at the soccer game. >> i had just found out my mom is not getting deported, and i just started crying. right now i'm just happy to have her back. >> how long has it been since you saw her? it was, like, a whole month. but my dad, he was like... he got deported three years ago. so that's all i had. i was just excited to have her back, because, i mean, no dad, no mom, graduating this year, and not having no family members see me, it was going to suck, you know? but now i'm happy to have her back. >> what was her advice to you? >> to graduate this year. >> are you on track to do that? >> yes, sir. >> okay. are you sure? >> yes, sir. >> okay. that's a good thing. it's a good thing, isn't it? >> i can't believe it. like, i can't even think, you know? i'm just happy right now. i'm not trying to walk around, i'm trying to go to class, but, you know... i know, i mean, there's nothing i can do. >> let's get to class. >> yeah.
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>> here in houston right now, it's about 12% of our kids drop out. three years, four years ago, it was 22%. and so we've made a lot of progress. we're continuing to make progress. but it's a challenge, and it's a huge challenge. one of the most difficult parts is, how do you count a kid as a dropout? the record keeping part of it really shouldn't be this difficult. >> we know that large numbers of kids here in houston and all across this country are not finishing high school. children at risk has been around here in texas for over 20 years. we look at numbers, and we figure out, maybe, what are the real numbers, you know? what's sort of the truth behind the numbers that they're giving us? in the state of texas, you have
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the texas education agency, which asks for data in a certain way. anwhile this is very convoluted... and i think they maybe make it purposely convoluted. they create these things called "leaver codes" which are... a student is a "leaver" for this reason, and when they are a "leaver" for this reason, they are not a dropout. so they'll designate things like children that have left for home school, children that have left the country, children that have left for private school, which seem reasonable, right? when you break this stuff down, what you see is things like across the state, it's in the junior year, a time when kids might be dropping out, that the schools are saying that parents are taking their kids out of school for homeschooling. we know that that doesn't really happen, so for us there's something going on there. and then we also see that it's in their senior year that, across the state, people are being marked as leaving for private school.
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now, when do kids leave in their senior year and decide to go to private school? it might happen in the movies, you know, the bad girl or the bad boy goes to another school for their senior year, but it doesn't happen in the very large numbers that we're seeing in the data here in the state of texas. and if we don't have the right data, then we can't begin to solve this. so if we have a dropout problem, what is the size of that dropout problem? and now how do we begin to fix it? >> good morning, apollos. today is day 114. it is thursday, february 9, 2012. >> what's going on this week? i don't know if there's a typical week here. we seem to have had a lot of kids in life crisis situations. we had a little skirmish during
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lunch. a fight broke out, and marcus was one of the kids involved, and in the process of him getting handcuffed and going to the police office after the melee, marcus was found to have marijuana on him. and that brought a charge, and that brought him off to jail. >> he looked up at me, in his handcuffs. and he said, "coach, so football is over?" and i said, "probably so." and i was totally disappointed. and i looked at him and just kind of walked out. he just made the worst decision >> marcus. any other follow-up? >> i called and talked to his dad last night. i said, "what's going on? what's the situation?" and he said that marcus went to jail. he said that marcus never called him.
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it's just a matter of, where's marcus? yeah, i'm trying to find out if somebody that was charged and is said to be in your jail is being released today. i can't imagine that there's a training that encompasses everything you will encounter being an educator. we're here for students. and that's the number one priority. so he's going to court in the morning. criminal court four. (gasps) oh, my god, i've got to go get my son. hey, i'm on my way! usually every day my son gets dropped off by the bus at the back of sharpstown at 3:15. usually i'm on time. it's not very often i'm late. it is hard sometimes because i feel like i have three kids at
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home and i spend a lot of time dealing with the kids here. they have a good life, and they have parents that love them, and a lot of the kids here don't necessarily have that. mommy's got to go to work, baby girl. >> why? >> i think they need that. you know, kids should have that until they are 17 or 18. >> now, when i go to jail for attacking ruffin, you know why. >> what happened? >> he just hit me up for no reason. i was just playing with this girl, whatever, talking about, "calm down, don't grab me, don't grab me, get off me, son." he trying to jerk away from me and i said, "yo, get off me. quit touching me." then he tried to choke me out for no reason. just know, when i hit him in his (bleep) face, and i go to jail, you know why. >> lawerance, lawerance, lawerance... lawerance, just, he just has such anger issues. typically, something happens every other day. if he's here for two days, something's going to happen one of those two days. >> just know he touch me anytime before i leave this bitch, i'm going to punch him in his face. i'm not playing. do you see this face? i'm not playing. >> i didn't ask you that.
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stop, stop. >> what you mean stop? what he's supposed to just do... >> no, he shouldn't... hey! if it was about ego and stuff, it would be, "get him out of here." but it's not about that. you just can't take it personally, because most of the anger is about their life situation. it's displaced onto you, and they're acting out. >> y'all don't care! >> but he's sitting here talking to you. >> but what's he going to do? he's not going to do nothing. he'll still be here tomorrow. >> but he just said... you've got to calm down. >> nobody helped me then. the girl cop, lady cop, and everybody was sitting there. >> the only thing that's going to stop him from graduating is not the attendance and not getting the grades. what's going to be the breaking point is his anger. >> you see how mad i am? i'm shaking. how am i supposed to be calm? >> i know you're mad. >> would he survive in any other school environment besides this? >> i don't know if he's going to survive in this one! >> lawerance, stop. don't go out that door. >> go ahead and walk. go ahead and walk. and he'll be back tomorrow. he might not be back on time, but he'll be back. because this is the best he's
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got. >> marcus stayed in jail two or three nights, got out. we tried to get him to come up here to school to kind of talk about what the consequences were going to be, what the next steps were, where we go from here. so he agreed to come in saturday morning, 9:00 or 10:00. i talked to him at probably 9:30 or 10:00, and i said, "okay, well, go ahead and get your hair done, and then call me when you get done." and here we are at 1:00, and i haven't heard from him. at this point he's... i'm worried that he's avoiding us. sorry, i'm trying to find marcus. are there any other hair places around here? barber shop at the end of the strip center.
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hi, i'm hunting down a kid. and i think he was coming here to get his hair cut. >> nada? >> nothing. it was all women. it looks like marcus ditched me. i just thought that he was the one that i had to worry about the least, as far as surviving and making it. he smokes marijuana, and if he was in jail for three days, i imagine that he really wanted to smoke. so i'm thinking that maybe that's what he went to do. he didn't go get his hair done. >> does that surprise you? >> mm-hmm. >> because? >> i mean, when i talked to him this morning he was... it was very sincere, it was very normal. and i said "i'll call you back," or whatever. (cell phone rings) and then every time i tried to call back, he didn't answer the
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phone. hello? marcus. where are you? >> good timing. >> i've been looking for you. it's 2:20. i want you to tell me what time you're going to be here. okay, so in the next 20 minutes. maybe i was right and you were wrong. >> what? >> that he wasn't getting high. >> we'll see if he if shows. we'll see. >> do you realize that this is your last chance? >> yeah. >> what happens if you are sent to cep for three months? >> i mean, that can't happen.
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>> right, but means you have no future, right? i mean, it means you don't play football, you don't graduate, you don't finish. i mean, that's the bottom line. this is it. this is everything, right here. >> hisd has a zero tolerance policy on drugs, and i think hisd policy is 90 days at cep. cep stands for community education partners. if kids are expelled or suspended, or when kids do something, cep is where they go. it's kind of like our consequence. if we sent marcus to cep, i'm 90% sure that would be the end for him. he wouldn't go. he'd drop out, and he'd probably end up doing whatever he had to do to make money and survive. he would not finish. >> i can't go back to cep. i went my ninth grade year. every class i slept, and i still
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managed to make at least a c or b. and then the second year i went, my tenth grade year, i was supposed to go there for 60 days again. it took me, like, 100 and something days, it was a lot. i didn't go to school at all. like, ever. you know, it wasn't good. >> so where do we go from here? >> give me one more chance just to come to school every day on time, you know, no trouble. you know, none of that. could you let me finish this year at sharpstown and next year play football? >> even if you play football, you've got to deal with the rest of your life. that's why i was asking you about, how are you going to deal with some of the stuff with home and all that stuff? >> i mean, the home situation... i mean, it's bad, you know, but i mean, i can handle it. i mean, i've been handling it for 17 years, you know? my mom, i love my mom to
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death. she a good mom. like she, take care of her business, but she drink. that's what she do. but i mean, i know i can just make it better for them. i know i can help them. if i do right, i can get everything i've got to do together. >> if we were to send marcus to cep or somewhere else right now, we're, like, basically saying, "you're not going to make it." he's plugged into us. if he's not going to make it here, he's not going to make it. >> i'm leaving this open right now. and i'm willing to give you the opportunity, but like i said, the window's closing, and you have to open it back up. >> honestly speaking, i wouldn't have went to cep. i probably would've just dropped out. and mr. gasparello making this, like... making this happen for me, i appreciate it a lot, and i'm going to do my part. i have to. i'm going to do my part. >> make it work. >> yes, sir, i got you. i'm going to make it work. >> marcus says the right things. and i'm hoping that more than
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saying those things, he's got to want to do it, to make that change, because he wants something better and he owns it. and that's the thing i'm not sure about on him yet. >> marco. >> hi. >> where were you yesterday? >> that one, i was at home sick. >> don't play. you skipped. be honest. senior skip day. >> yeah. >> marco has had attendance problems, so that's why i stay on him. you know that's going to end up costing you. you have nothing to say now, huh? so we can be able to keep a grasp on him, we have to kind of check in with him regularly to make sure he knows that we're there watching you. don't try to fight and get out of it, marco. do what you have to do so that you can get out of here. right now you're on that verge-- either you're going to do it or you're not. >> i get worried about my
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credits because i only have 12.5, and i need 26 to graduate. >> that's a lot. can you do that? >> i know i can. just saturdays, come in every saturday, i think i can. i've just got to put up my effort, you know, so i can graduate this year. >> i can see that he is taking more initiative, and he's being honest and owning up to what he needs to do. so hopefully he'll pull through and graduate. >> yeah, together we can. >> whatever it takes. >> no excuses. >> all right, make it happen. >> i will. >> i'm so not playing with you. >> you know what that bell means? >> bye. >> sparkle, where've you been? >> ms. haze, she was helping me. >> how many of you have been able to find information about your college costs, tuition and fees so far? sparkle, how's it going?
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hmm? she is definitely slipping, because she's not interested, she's not coming. she's not here for the discussion. so she's getting really low grades in every area of my class grading. >> uh, i don't know. i don't remember. >> uh, i don't remember. i don't know, miss. >> i am, i don't remember. i think... i know i wasn't here yesterday. i came wednesday. i wasn't here on monday. i was here tuesday and wednesday. and today. re

WETA September 27, 2012 1:30am-3:30am EDT

Dropout Nation News/Business. (2012) Teachers and counselors work tirelessly to help four troubled students graduate at Houston's Sharpstown High School. New. (CC) (Stereo)

TOPIC FREQUENCY Marcus 20, Marco 13, Texas 10, Houston 9, Us 8, Pittsburgh 5, Cep 5, Sharpstown 5, Canton 4, Spanish 4, New York 4, America 4, Fremont 4, Miss. 3, Washington 3, Africa 3, Turkey 3, John 3, Afghanistan 3, Paris 3
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Duration 01:59:59
Scanned in Annapolis, MD, USA
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Audio Cocec ac3
Pixel width 704
Pixel height 480
Sponsor Internet Archive
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on 9/27/2012